By Eric Schmidt

The Indianapolis Colts came out of Baltimore with a playoff loss in the wildcard weekend, but despite the defeat, the 2012 for the Indianapolis Colts should be considered a success. The 2011, Peyton Manning-less version of the Colts was a complete disaster. In the course of just one season, the future for the Colts looks bright moving forward, anchored by an impressive rookie quarterback.

Andrew Luck delivered as expected in 2012 and he can only continue to improve going forward. There is room for improvement with Indianapolis, but this is a young team that really gelled this season and should continue to improve.

Once the Colts learned that head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with cancer, the team rallied behind him. The Colts took to the field on October 7 after learning that Pagano would have to undergo treatment for his cancer and played an inspirational game, with Luck rallying the team for a last minute victory over the Green Bay Packers, winning 30-27.

That victory was a springboard for the Colts, that were just coming off their bye week. Indianapolis had a four-game, a three game and two-game win streak in their second half of the season winning 10 of their last 13 games, an posting an improbable 11-5 record.

Nearly every analyst had the Colts ranked as the worst team in the league in early season power rankings.

It is extremely rare for NFL teams to replace a franchise quarterback with another in such a short period of time, just ask the Miami Dolphins. The Colts have managed to do just that. Andrew Luck set the rookie record for the most passing yards with 4,374 yards. There are some bright spots on offense. RB Vick Ballard rushed for 814 yards, but only had 211 carries. Had Ballard received 300 carries, he would have been a 1,200 yard back. Rookie WR T.Y. Hilton led all receivers with seven touchdowns. Rookie tight end and former teammate of Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, should continue to improve in his sophomore season.

The Colts need to add some pieces on the defensive side of the ball, but all in all, the 2012 season was much better than anyone expected this season. Heading into 2012, 8 wins would have been considered a successful campaign, with playoffs not on the radar. The future is indeed bright for the Indianapolis Colts.

 

 

 

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